Insights & Resources • PUBLISHED 1/20/2021

How to get a VoIP number

We break down how to get a VoIP number—from choosing a provider to finding a number, we'll show you how it's done.

By Fiona McDonnell

woman searching for VoIP number

Utilizing VoIP phone numbers is one of the most cost efficient ways to supply calling capabilities for large teams or businesses in multiple locations. In this post, we'll walk you through what a VoIP number is and how to get one.

What is a VoIP number?

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is a digital phone service that uses the internet to make and receive calls. A VoIP number is a virtual phone number using a protocol called SIP. VoIP numbers use the internet instead of traditional landlines or cell phone networks, enabling businesses to make and receive calls at a lower cost and with more features.

VoIP numbers are increasingly becoming the standard for businesses of all sizes. Since VoIP numbers are assigned to a user, rather than a specific device, VoIP phone numbers are especially useful for large and small businesses, because calls to a single VoIP number can ring through on several devices. Additionally, VoIP numbers are not confined to a particular physical location.

Where do I get a VoIP number?

It might seem a bit obvious, but you get VoIP numbers from a VoIP provider through a process that’s similar to how you’d get a landline phone number from a traditional phone company.

However, the process for getting VoIP phone numbers is more streamlined than the traditional process. And you can complete the process almost entirely using self-serve tools. So it can be super quick and easy, once you’ve selected a VoIP service provider.

As such, choosing your VoIP provider is the most critical step in the process of getting VoIP numbers. After that, it’s just a matter of assigning your new VoIP phone numbers to the phones that you want to use for calls.

But, first things first.

Find a VoIP service provider

When you make and receive calls using your VoIP phone numbers, you’ll be relying on your provider’s IP (Internet Protocol)network to make the connection. That’s why it’s so important to assess potential providers and base your decision on more than just whether or not a VoIP provider has the numbers you need.

Here's what you should consider when assessing a potential VoIP provider:

Straightforward pricing

Clearly, you need VoIP phone numbers that you can afford. And VoIP pricing often seems very straightforward. However, as with most things in life, pricing is not always as simple as it looks on the surface.

Be careful to evaluate a VoIP carrier’s pricing in relation to the volume of phone numbers you need. When you’re using hundreds or thousands of phone numbers, small costs—such as billing increments—can quickly add up. So be diligent in scrutinizing your VoIP provider’s pricing structure.


Reliability is another clear requirement. Downtime, network latency and who owns the network are crucial elements to consider.

Network performance is super important for VoIP calling, because VoIP numbers connect using an internet connection. A poor connection can degrade call quality to the point where you can’t even communicate. And, if your carrier’s network is down, you can’t even connect calls.

However, finding out who owns and operates your VoIP carrier’s network is more important than you might think. If your carrier does not own and operate their own network, they must provision their network from third-party operators. It’s very difficult for a VoIP carrier to quality control or troubleshoot issues with a network that they do not own or control.

Therefore, it’s best to work with a VoIP carrier that owns and operates their own private VoIP network. That will give you the best call quality and make it much easier for your VoIP provider to be more responsive to your needs.

High quality

This ties into the previous point. The connection quality determines the call quality. If your VoIP provider’s network is poor, it can drop bits of audio data, which causes audio jitter and awkward pauses in call conversations.

But, if you’re working with a carrier that has complete control over their own network, call quality most likely won’t be an issue.

One other factor that impacts VoIP call quality is VoIP codecs. Understanding VoIP codecs can get a little complicated. On a basic level, a codec is used to compress the data being transmitted to reduce the amount of internet bandwidth required. Another codec then decompresses the data on the receiving end to make that data usable again. You want to choose a provider that allows you to choose your own codec, so you have more control over you call quality.

VoIP codecs matter because it directly affects the quality of the call.


Since VoIP calls connect through the internet, security is an important feature to consider, especially if you have special security requirements, like HIPAA compliance.

It’s best if your VoIP carrier can encrypt your call data for as long as that call data is traveling through your VoIP provider’s network. That way, even if a bad actor finds a way to intercept that call data (which is unlikely, if your carrier uses their own private network), the encryption keeps that data from being accessed.

To sum up, the best VoIP carrier will own and operate their own VoIP network, which will give you the best reliability, call quality and security at the best possible price.

Do you need a VoIP phone?

Technically, you don’t need a VoIP phone to use a VoIP phone number. However, if you have a legacy phone, you may need some special hardware—adaptors and cables—to connect your analog phone to the digital connection for VoIP numbers.

However, VoIP phones are simpler to connect than using an analog phone for VoIP calling. With a VoIP phone, you can most often connect the VoIP phone directly to the VoIP connection (usually an ethernet cable) without any special adapters or hardware. Fortunately, VoIP phones are relatively affordable.

Additionally, most smartphones, computers and other digital communication devices are capable of VoIP calling. So you have a lot of options for which phone you use to make calls using your VoIP numbers.

Why would someone want a VoIP number?

Traditional landlines still exist. And we know those traditional phone numbers work. But there are reasons to prefer VoIP phone numbers over legacy phone numbers.

The biggest reason to use a VoIP phone number over a traditional landline is cost. A VoIP phone number uses your internet connection to connect calls. You probably pay for internet service already. When you get a VoIP phone number, all you have to pay for is the phone number and access to your VoIP provider’s IP network.

When you buy traditional phone service, you have to pay to use a completely separate network, the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network). You’re paying for a completely separate service, which comes with the added cost of maintaining a completely separate network.

Generally, this makes VoIP phone numbers more affordable than traditional landlines. So, even if all other things were equal, getting telephone service at a lower cost is plenty of reason to get a VoIP phone number (or numbers).

But, if you’re interested in more than just saving money, there are other reasons to prefer a VoIP phone number over a traditional landline.

Features available with VoIP

By transitioning their existing voice operations from traditional telephone systems to VoIP, businesses can enjoy a host of benefits, from simple provisioning to increased flexibility. Here are just three of the features you'll notice with VoIP:

VoIP numbers are easier to provision

The process for getting VoIP phone numbers (especially non-fixed VoIP numbers) is simpler and more automated than the process of getting a traditional landline.

This is especially important for businesses that frequently need to add phone numbers or reassign phone numbers within their teams, such as contact center service providers, managed service providers and OTT communication app developers.

VoIP numbers offer more flexibility

VoIP phone numbers work on all sorts of devices, from mobile phones and tablets to desktop computers. That makes it much easier to adapt your VoIP phone numbers to your needs, rather than having to create business practices around using a standard phone.

Also, VoIP phone numbers are far easier to assign to new users or devices. This is ideal if you have a large team and need to be able to assign phone numbers to new users and different phones as team members leave, get promoted or move to new work locations.

Ultimately, it’s just much easier to use VoIP phone numbers for business than it is to use a traditional landline.

VoIP numbers give you higher quality voice calls

Yes, the PSTN works. However, it’s a very old network. More modern networks provide better connections and call quality. Since VoIP phone numbers connect through these modern, packet switched networks, you get better audio quality and clearer communication on your calls.

All in all, using VoIP phone numbers is easier and more affordable in almost any business context. Really, VoIP numbers are arguably always better for business than traditional landlines. To learn more about the PSTN versus VoIP, read our blog post.

How to get a VoIP number

Here’s a quick step by step checklist for how to get the VoIP numbers you need:

How and where to get a VoIP number checklist

Step 1: Evaluate the potential VoIP providers to assess their pricing, reliability, quality and security.

Step 2: Choose a plan and sign up for service with the best VoIP carrier, based on your assessment.

Step 3: Provision the VoIP phone numbers you need. Ideally, your carrier will have an interface that makes it quick and easy to purchase VoIP numbers.

Step 4: Configure your VoIP numbers and set up your VoIP devices to make and receive calls using your new VoIP phone numbers.

That’s it. You’re ready to start making VoIP calls.

Find VoIP numbers with Telnyx

Need a VoIP provider with the best reliability, call quality and security? Telnyx connects VoIP calls through a private IP network without using the public internet or third-party networks.

Talk to a Telnyx VoIP expert to get all your questions answered. Or sign up for a Mission Control Portal account to see how easy it is to get VoIP phone numbers with Telnyx.

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